Phulkari Facts

Phulkari literally means flower craft. It is also called "Bagh" which means a garden. The motifs and designs on the Phulkari are veritable garden of floral patterns and are so colourful they seem to have earned the name of Bagh.

The origin of the Phulkari is not quite fully known. Some say that the art was brought to India by the Muslim Persians who settled in Kashmir. It was known are "Gulkari" in Persia (Gul-flower and Kari-Craft or work and phul-flower and Kari Craft or work.)

It is an acknowledged fact that both persians and the Central Asian nomads were excellent carpet and textile weavers who were experts in producing vivid designs and colours in producing.

The colour sense, therefore, may have come to us with the invaders but the use of the base fabric, khadder, produced from the cotton plant and spun on the charkha, is essentially Indian in character and creation. The motifs and designs of the Phulkari are met with not only in embroidery in Northern and Western India, but also in woven textiles of countries as far as Czechoslovakia and Hungry in the west and as Far East as Indo-China.

The origin of the Phulkari is pretty old as there are references to it in ancient literature of the Vedas, the Mahabharat, the Guru Granth Sahib as well as in the folk songs of the Punjab. Whether it come from the East or West it does not very much matter but it is a very plain fact that on arriving in the land of five rivers, the Phulkari underwent a complete change and emerged as a gay and a pretty garment with an individuality all its own.

About 880 Phulkari artisans are a part of this cluster. At least 500 workers are depending on full and part time basis upon this industry. The workers are mainly from the local community. Presently, cluster is mainly controlled by the big traders who are engaged in field of Phulkari and operates from Patiala, Rajpura, Chandigarh, etc.


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